Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,753 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Honda Civic fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #10

Apr 242014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 167,000 miles


I rear ended a vehicle that came to a sudden complete stop, I was going approximately 30 mph, (the roadway was 45 but I had started to slow as I slammed on my brakes). The collision was full frontal impact and my airbags did not deploy. I hit my head on the steering wheel despite having a seat belt on. I am having a mechanic investigate why my airbags did not deploy, but it concerns me as I was injured in the crash. I went to the emergency room and I have whip lash, muscle spasms and muscle tension in my neck and back. I feel that these injuries could have been avoided if the air bags had deployed. My lawyer advised me to file a complaint here as well as with Honda about this incident.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #9

Apr 192012


  • 160,000 miles
I have had horrible health issues the passed years. It came down to long term chemical exposure. My Honda Civic 2003 was leaking gas fumes from the fuel pump under the backseat. I took it to dealership and they confirmed the fuel pump leak. It was cracked on top of the fuel pump, its exactly the same recall issue of the 2011 fuel pump from the Honda Civic 2011. I have high levels of gas on a blood test of ethylbenzene and M, P, xylene, - gasoline chemicals. I think all Honda Civic owners need to be aware of the cracking of the fuel pumps, that can start a fire or like myself cause health issues from breathing it in for a long time. If it is already an issue on the 2011 models, I'm living proof its a health issue and danger for the 2003. This should be looked into and a possible recalled. Thank you,

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #8

Feb 032011

Civic 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. The contact noticed that the fuel door release cable was broken and he was unable to add fuel into the vehicle. The dealer was notified and provided him with a price quote, but did not offer any additional assistance. The manufacturer informed the contact that there were no related recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileages was 86,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 03/07/11 updated 05/02/11

- Wadsworth, OH, USA

problem #7

Jan 112011

Civic 4-cyl

  • 63,700 miles


Our 2003 Honda Civic's gas tank cable that locks the filler snapped making it unable to unlock or re-fuel the vehicle. Happened as we were on highway and needed gas and went to gas station, unable to put any gasoline in the vehicle and we were running out of fuel. Went to open road Honda who had to order cable and install it. Waited 5 hrs for them to get the part as it was not in their stockroom. They installed new cable and we were then able to re-fuel.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jan 042010


  • 155,000 miles
We purchased a 2003 Honda chc in 2006 with approximately 34,000 miles. As of January 2010, the car has 155,010 miles. From the date of purchase, there has been a shudder when decelerating from 40+ mph. We have only taken the car to our local Honda dealership for repair and maintenance and have been repeatedly told that there is nothing wrong with the car and that shudder is from an "overload". taking the service department at their word, we have never had any repair work done to remove the shudder or taken the car to another dealer. Over time the shudder has gotten worse. We have also experienced a hesitation when accelerating and then the car will suddenly lurch forward when it hits gear. Again, we were told that there wasn't anything wrong with the car and that we should expect hesitation when the car is switching from battery power to engine power. About 4 months ago, the check engine light came on and we were told that the catalytic converter was in need of replacement. We were given two options-immediate repair or drive until the catalytic converter completely fails. Recently the ima light came on and we took the car for diagnosis. The response was that the battery pack needed to be replaced. In addition, we were told that the transmission is beginning to fail. To replace the cvt transmission, battery pack and catalytic converter will cost approximately $7,500. As I have read the other complaints not only from this site, but also other sites on the internet, I now suspect that we have been experiencing transmission problems all along. We have had several other Honda vehicles. We purchased this vehicle because of the reliability we have come to expect from Honda. $7,500 or more in repairs is unreasonable for any car under 8 years old, especially a Honda.

- College Station, TX, USA

problem #5

Sep 282008


  • 60,000 miles
2003 Civic hybrid throw P1491 code for clogged egr. Honda has issued a warranty extension for the same code for the Odyssey, but won't acknowledge the same problem with the hybrid. I can't find the dealer service bulletin details for the root cause of the problem with the Odyssey.

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 012008


  • 71,971 miles


Catalytic converter failure 73,860 miles my car needed the first catalytic converter replaced, covered under warranty 93,807 miles my car needed the second catalytic converter replaced, Honda helped with cost 113654 miles, my cars check engine light came on with the same diagnostic code P1420, dealer did software update and said everything was fine. 118,000 miles, my car is back in the shop needing a new catalytic converter all this work performed at dealer something must be wrong, causing catalytic converter failure.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #3

May 272008


  • 33,800 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. The contact pushed the release button for the fuel door on his vehicle, but it would not open. After several attempts, she was still unable to open the fuel door. The dealer stated that the cause of the failure was the fuel door release cable. The vehicle was out of warranty; therefore, the contact would have to pay $190.03 for the repairs. The current mileage was 33,813 and failure mileage was 33,800.

- Kent, OH, USA

problem #2

Dec 052006


  • miles
Fuel door on my 2003 Honda Civic doesnt have a emergency relase mechonism or way to open the fuel door in an emergency.

- Woodsville , NH, USA

problem #1

Mar 242003

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60 miles
My 2003 Honda Civic hybrid has a faulty seat belt. The belt locks up as the passenger tries to bring it forward. This condition also occurred in my other 4 Honda cars. The seat belts also tend to ratchet up after being connected and cause discomfort to the passenger as they become excessively tight. The dealer claims that (1) the ratcheting of the seat belts is associated with child safety protection and (2) the ratcheting should only occur when the belt is extended far out for attaching to a child safety seat. I have duplicated the problem in the presence of the service mgr. The dealer alleges to have replaced the front passenger seat belt; however the problem continues. I have had other experiences with american Honda allegedly replacing a part (reference complaint # 10008215, ignition switch recall) only to find that HondaS statements and claims are highly questionable. I now ask myself whether Honda might be engaging in deceptive and fraudulent practices to protect its profit line in disregard of the safety of its customers. Honda has failed to respond to my concerns about the advertised fuel economy of the hybrid. After meeting with a customer service representative, eric catherine, from american Honda on 3/24/03, the representative made certain commitments to address my concerns and promised to get back with me in a couples of days. one of the commitments was to perform a fuel consumption test on my hybrid. As of 6/12/03, neither the representative nor anyone from american Honda has lived up to their commitments. According to the fuel economy guide posted on the vehicle, the hybrid is supposed to get 48 mpg/city and 47 mpg/highway. Even the fine print states that the actual mileage should range between 40 56 in the city and 39-55 on the highway. I have been tracking/documenting my actual mpg. My mpg has never exceeded 35. Since fuel economy is the primary reason for purchasing the hybrid, potential customers should be extremely skeptical of the claims.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

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